Pros: Great Design for cleaning any stain, affordable and sturdy.
Cons: Scrubber could be more generous in size; Cleaning Solution needs new scent.
Me, The Vacuum Freak
I am the vacuum freak of our family. I have two small children and have had to potty train two puppies in the last year and a half. My husband is threatening to set up a curio cabinet for all my treasured vacuums.
Does it work?
Yes, it works well for small areas that need mild to desperate attention. If you need to do a large area, obviously get your floors done with a larger cleaner (I use the Bissell Pro-Heat for this) or be prepared to put some elbow grease into it.
Scrubbing Action & Results
The scrubber is small, but effective especially when you put your muscle into it. Yes, it should be cleaned after use which is easy enough to do since you can push one small button on the handle and slide off the nozzle. Put it in the sink and rinse with bleach and let it dry and you're good to go for the next round. The dirty water container is by far, the easiest one I have had to deal with in awhile. It snaps at the top (a key design improvement) and you escort it to the toilet and flush. Snap it back in place and off you go. The clean water container is clearly marked where you should start with the cleaner and then fill to the top marked line with water.
Bissell Cleaner Smell vs. Zep
I do get tired of the smell. I really wish Bissell would invest in some new scent development because once I started using mine all the time, I got sick of the cleaning solution smell. It began to remind me of dirt. You can always try the pet soil version in the purple container but, I found that smell even more intrusive.
I have done my own personal testing with Zep (it says it's specifically designed for small machines on the side of the correct container), purchased at home depot and preferred the scent to the Bissell Cleaner. Bissell of course advises against this for all reasons including another cleaner could foam up and ruin your machine. Although I have not had any of those problems with Zep and my machine is still trucking away.
MAY 2004 UPDATE NEW CLEANER SCENTS Lavender & CITRUS
UPDATE NEW Bissell Cleaner Lavender Essence! I was weary of the orginal scent, offended by the pet scent and now there is a new scent on the market -May 2004 Lavender Essence. What a huge improvement. It's the same price as the others although I only saw it offered in the $11.94 size. It is a HUGE improvment. Next week is the Citrus.
The size is the perfect small machine I believe. The machine is designed so you can lift it up by the built-in handle and haul it around with NO charging of the batteries. Perfect for stairs, spots and so forth. The refuse water container is big enough to get through a couple of soiled areas without making runs to dump which I found very convenient. I wish the hose was a little longer but, if it were it would be too big for the design of the machine. A self-retracting hose is an improvment I can see for the future.
My Mean Green Machine vs. other smaller machines
Mean Green vs. Sharper Image
I own the Shaper Image Hand Held Steamer ($69!!!) and it's an absolute disaster for soiled stains the Mean Green doesn't even wince at. Emptying the TINY refuse water container takes rubber gloves and a clothes pin for your nose because you will be doing it ALOT because of the size. It's very messy in my opinion. Also, since it uses only steam to clean (they say this is the most effective for spot removal and I disagree) the only scent you get, is the nasty one of whatever you are picking up out of your carpet. YUCK.
Mean Green vs. Dirt Devil Power Scrubber
I also own the Dirt Devil Power Scrubber and I still want my money back on that one ($39.99 on sale). Yes it scrubs, but I don't have all day to run back and forth and empty the refuse water container. Its a messy dirty water emptying design as well and can be tricky to get back into the correct position on the unit. Break out the rubber gloves and be prepared to wash your hands good. I don't like it at all.
Mean Green vs. itself miniature
I tried the smaller Bissell that retails in the $29-$39 range. Same deal as the other two baby cleaners. A waste of time and money. Charging a machine for 3 hours so it can go maybe 10 minutes just doesn't make sense to me.
Mean Green complimented by its bigger sister Proheat
I also own the big sister of the Bissell Mean Green, the Bissell Pro Heat, that I purchase at Costco as well for $199. The Bissell Pro Heat is nice for larger areas.
I buy my machines and electronics
at Costco and here is why...
I buy my expensive cleaning machines at Costco for one simple reason, you are going to use and abuse this thing and if it quits working on you and you purchased it anywhere else after 14 days, you are out of luck. You will be referred to the 800 number on the box for service and that is a hassle I have been through in the past. You are referred to a service location that may or may not be near you. If its determined your machine broke for any other reason than defect, you are stuck with the repair bill. Doesn't that seem like a ridiculous amount of work for a customer to go through for a product they paid good money for?
I have been burned at the two largest reputable retailers in the country (T*rg*t & W**M**T), and I have sworn off purchasing all electronics ( a vacume is considered such) for this reason alone.
However, Costco has graciously taken back two Bissell Steam Cleaners in the last 4 years that have malfunctioned or broke with no questions asked (one was actually two years after purchase). I was given a cash refund and a smile. I saved my receipts of course, but not the box. They took them anyway. Costco will take back anything that has malfunctioned on you as long as you have a receipt or if you can remember the specific day you purchased it on, they can pull up your receipt for you. I am a loyal customer to them for this reason. They are not just out to make a buck and then leave you dry. This demonstrates a retailer responsibility that does not exist in the market place anymore and for that I am truly grateful and now loyal. Get burned once and you'll be singing my tune too.
Yes, this one retails for around $69-$89 and is more than the others but I can tell you from personal experience, the others are a waste of time and money. Too small, too messy, too much work for what they are supposed to do. I actually owned the older version of this one and found the new design launched a couple of years ago a HUGE improvement in quality and ease of use.
I have bought the little mean green machine, not once but twice over the years. I give it as gifts to new moms and housewarmings as well. Nothing says I love you, like cleaner carpet.